There is a rapidly growing trend in travel and tourism today toward responsible, ecologically aware traveling. This type of travel can be characterized as the exact opposite of a Club Med vacation. GORP offers up a good list of the principles of EcoTourism. It doesn’t mean you have to be a Greenpeace eco-warrior, but just have a love for the natural state of the planet. The WWW is a primary forum for the dissemination of eco-info about ecologically inspired eco-journeys. By the time you are done reading this, we guarantee you will be eco-overloaded.
It should be noted that many sites related to ecotourism have very similar names and are easily eco-confused. For example, recently there has been some turmoil regarding the very closely named Green Travel and the Green Travel Network. Green Travel is a long-running not-for-profit service that is an exceptionally comprehensive forum (listserv, archive and website) for “ecotourism practitioners and consumers,” whereas the Green Travel Network is an excellent, brand-new commercial ecotourism and adventure travel website. Though the two services couldn’t be more different, it is easy to confuse them because of the similar names.
- Green Culture is a good commercial ecotourism site that has an extensive list of ecotourism links.
- Planet’s Eco Travels in Latin America is a well-respected and very in-depth site about travel to Latin America. Many consider Planeta the foremost Net site for people interested in ecotourism.
- Ecotourism Explorer is a non-profit site for the exploration of ecotourism for researchers, conservationists and businesspeople. The Eco-Travelers page contains excellent background info and helpful hints on how to choose a good tour operator.
- The Ecotravel Center is a slick, not-for-profit site dedicated to promoting and educating people about ecotourism. Good links and an active bulletin board.
- Ecotourism Research and Other Adventures is aimed primarily at ecological researchers and other eco-professionals.
- The Eco-Source is updated regularly with the latest “information and services about today’s ecological issues.”
“Green” Travel Destinations
- Alaska is a popular eco-destination (because hardly anyone lives there). Ecotourism in Alaska is a great resource for travelers to the last great wilderness in America.
- Australia has a strong eco-travel following. The International Center for Ecotourism Research is located there.
- The Specialty Travel Index has a great list of eco-links sorted by country and region.
By now, you probably don’t want to see “eco” precede any more words. But if it’s more eco-related (sorry) info you seek, each of the above sites has lists of links to fill any eco-gaps.